Former West Elm CD Vanessa Holden launches Soul Safari

Former West Elm CD Vanessa Holden launches Soul Safari
To say that Vanessa Holden's career is impressive is an understatement: She was founding editor of Donna Hay, She worked at Marie Claire (Australia) and Marie Claire Lifestyle (Australia) and as an art director and designer for Vogue Entertaining and Travel and Vogue Living.

Vanessa was senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living and also served as the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings, and the creative director of Time Inc.'s Real Simple.

She then left magazines to become senior vice president and creative director of West Elm. 

Now, Holden has launched SOULSAFARI, a collective community platform whose mission is mission to create a space where people can get together around the world in an active, creative environment that has an emphasis on sustainable and ethical work.(

SPD recently sat down with Holden to talk about her latest venture.

And, we are pleased to offer SPD members a 10% discount on tickets for the upcoming NYC SoulSafari event:

Soul Safari: NYC is a gathering for people who believe in the power of creativity to fuel massive change in the world. Come together to connect with your creativity, connect with each other, find fuel for your ideas, and spark the conversations that make big things happen.

WHEN: Thursday, August 25, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

WHERE: And&And - 353 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

Buy Tickets HERE

View the program HERE

(Read the Q& A with Vanessa after the jump)

How did Soul Safari happen?

The way many new things happen - I was looking for something I couldn't find. When you're a creative director, all work is collaboration - my role is to pull together a big vision supported by a big idea, and then gather the right team of artists, designers, writers, editors, filmmakers, photographers, stylists, sources, places and personalities to create the most beautiful, surprising, inspiring and extraordinary stories and experiences. What I've found is that while creatives natively do this every day, the nature of the creative industry is changing radically, and quickly. As more of us are choosing to freelance, exploring new areas of interest or build our own businesses, there needs to be a place to tap back into creativity, find yourself surrounded by supportive people, and rediscover and activate the impact that creative work can have in the world. Soul Safari is that place.
Soul Safari is...

A place for people to reconnect with their creative potential, to meet like-minded people who share their passions to collaborate with, and create work together that does good in the world. It's a lot of fuel and a little bit of school for creative entrepreneurs.
What does that mean?

By creating ways for people to connect online and in real life, Soul Safari helps creative entrepreneurs take their hopes and dreams - ideas for projects or products; pathways to new professional and personal opportunities - and make them happen.
So, what does this mean for people in print?

While it's true that the industry is changing, the skills that people learn at magazines are more relevant than ever: being able to spot trends, tell stories, create compelling calls to action. Our tribe has great examples of people who have made exciting opportunities happen for themselves: Michelle Outland and Fiorella Valdesolo of Gather Journal, and Jill Singer from Sight Unseen are all sharing their experiences speaking about this at Soul Safari NYC. They've each translated the talents of editors and art directors into innovative and really inspiring new businesses with strong communities where they're doing better, bolder work than ever.
What can people expect from Soul Safari NYC?

Real, honest conversations about real-life transformation. Catalytic connections. Electric energy. Incandescent inspiration. Inspiration is nothing without action - you'll learn how to turn imagination into impact. And what a big difference you can make - to yourself and the world - when you do.
What's the biggest takeaway you've learned so far from Soul Safari?

The personal is powerful - we all have something to teach, someone to transform. 

follow Soul Safari: @onsoulsafari
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